Botswana Horse-Riding Safari
Experience a superb riverine horse riding safari from a four star private game reserve located twenty minutes from the iconic safari town of Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Explore the banks of the Thamalakane River and experience an abundance of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, springbok, ostrich, eland, gemsbok and kudu as well as an extensive variety of bird life.
per person sharing
4 days / 3 nights
Luxurious tented accommodation
The Thamalakane River Ride operates from the Royal Tree Lodge, a small intimate lodge with luxurious tented accommodation.
Nestled in 400 acres of riverine trees and acacia woodland on the edge of the Thamalakane River, it is only a short drive from Maun and yet it feels deep in the heart of the bush. There are ten stylishly appointed en suite safari tents and two honeymoon chalets. A swimming pool to cool off in during the heat of the day and surrounding sun deck are discreetly adjacent to the main area.
A surprisingly large variety of wildlife roams the reserve including giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland, oryx, springbok and other species. The different habitats in the reserve encourage prolific birdlife from water birds to the dry woodland Kalahari species.
Suitable for beginners
If you are a beginner, you can easily join this ride. We have horses suitable for all levels of riders so there is the opportunity to join a ride (or do a separate slower ride) if you wish. Beginners love it!
For non-riders there are additional activities possible. Please see below.
Botswana Horse-Riding Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Royal Tree Lodge & First Ride
On arrival in Maun a short road transfer takes you to the Royal Tree Lodge.
Once settled into your comfortable accommodation and having had lunch or afternoon tea you will join your guide for a safety briefing before being introduced to the horses.
As the day cools down we set off for a fun afternoon ride around the environs of the reserve where the wildlife is wonderfully relaxed in the presence of the horses allowing for close encounters and great photographic opportunities.
We arrive back before dark and enjoy a sundowner at the lodge followed by a delicious dinner.
Day 2: Morning Ride & Afternoon Boat Cruise
Up with the dawn for a long morning ride. After a shorter stint with the wildlife we leave the reserve and head off into the back country for some lovely long canters through the endless acacia woodlands with a choice of fallen logs to jump if you wish.
We will be passing the occasional cattle posts and will have the opportunity to learn how the local Motswana live with their vast free roaming cattle herds.
As the morning warms up we head for the cool riverine woodlands of the Thamalakane River where a sumptuous breakfast set up in the shade of the jackalberry trees has been prepared.
With appetites duly satiated a leisurely ride takes us along the river whilst enjoying the numerous waterbirds and of course some splashing canters through the shallow waters!
Lunch back at the lodge will be followed by a pleasant siesta and in the afternoon a short walk to the river’s edge where we alight a boat for an afternoon on the water with wonderful bird watching, fishing and of course our favourite sundowners!
Day 3: Ride all day
Up with the dawn and breakfast before mounting up for an all day ride to explore further afield, hopefully reaching the “junction” where the Thamalakane River splits into two – the Nhabe heading west to Lake Ngami and the Boteti heading east to the Makgadikgadi.
These rivers were the lifeline that allowed the early explorers, hunters and traders to penetrate deep into this area with David Livingstone being the first European to see the famous Lake Ngami having spent many thirsty days crossing the Kalahari before reaching the Boteti.
Picnic lunch is in the shade of the evergreen mangosteen trees and for some there may be a temptation to have a swim.
The river will guide us home and if the water levels are low enough we may cross the river and ride back on the north bank looking out for the resident hippos as they become more active with the setting sun.
Day 4: A last ride
A last early morning ride through the reserve followed by a welcome hearty breakfast before heading on to your next destination.
Activities for Non-Riders
If you are a non-rider, we can customise your activities to the following:
- Evening walk
- Am Drive/walk ending up at the picnic breakfast site with the riders
- Pm Boat with riders
- Am Walk followed by drive to picnic lunch spot.
- Pm Drive back to lodge
- Am Walk
Additional activities such as scenic flights over the Okavango Delta via helicopter or light aircrafts are also available.
This wonderful horse riding safari starts at a special rate of US $285 per person per night (US $855 for 3 nights), fully inclusive except drinks (table wine included at dinner) and laundry. This rate is valid only in January and February 2016.
Rates for 2016
- Adults per night (July-October): US $455
- Adults per night (Rest of year) US $415
- Child under 12 per night (July-October): US $370
- Child under per night (Rest of year): US $340
Rates are per person per night inclusive of accommodation, all meals, all horse riding, airport transfers. Rates do not include drinks, laundry or local gratuities.